5 Great Early Bloom Shrubs (Northeast)

We know that outside you’re mostly looking at a coat of snow as February begins, but look closely and you may just observe some shrubs showing signs of life. Buds are beginning to swell on many shrubs with the promise of loads of welcome color over the next six to eight weeks.

Not happening in your yard?

Now is the time to take stock of what part of the landscape could use a boost and start that spring shopping list. Here are five early flowering shrubs that we promise will help you shake off winter and welcome spring.

(For even more choices, check out other regions as zones can overlap: Southeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest)

Popcorn Viburnum
(Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum ‘Popcorn’)

‘Popcorn’ is extra-special. Earlier flowering than others of its type, and more heat and drought tolerant when established. A perfect flowering privacy hedge. Partial to full sun. Up to 8 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 5 – 9

Cannon’s Double Azalea (Azalea x ‘Cannon’s Double’ (Exbury hybrid)

The Exbury hybrids are exceptionally bud-hardy azalas that come on in late spring with brilliant blooms. In fall, foliage turns red-bronze. Up to 6 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. Partial to full sun. Zone: 5 – 9

Pocahontas Canadian Lilac (Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Pocahontas’)

Extremely hardy, early blooming variety. Buds open in early May to fragrant, deep violet blooms 7 – 10 days before common lilac varieties bloom. Partial to full sun. Up to 10 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 2 – 7

Tiki Lily of the Valley Shrub (Pieris japonica ‘Tiki’)

So many plusses–early bloom, shiny foliage, compact form, and deer don’t love it. This one has wedding cake-like layers of white flowers on graceful, arching stems. Partial sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 6 – 8

Miyama™ Gold Prinz (Rhododendron yakushimanum ‘Goldschatz’)

One of the few “true” yellow rhodies, with wavy flowers dotted with burgundy markings above thick, dark-green foliage.  Partial sun. Slow up to 7 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 6 – 9

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